Michael Austin in Seattle, September 12

Michael Austin will be speaking on Job at the home of Molly Bennion on September 12 at 7:00 PM. You may know his book on Job won the Association of Mormon Letters Award for Nonfiction for 2014. He is a fine man and a fine Mormon. He’s also a man of wit and charm, an excellent speaker. He is currently working on a book about the over 100 19th century novels by or about Mormons. You can check out his posts here at BCC for a sample of his keen and humane acumen. Here is the deal: first come, first served so RSVP with Molly (molly.bennion@gmail.com). No charge but donations for airfare are always appreciated.

Saturday Night Fireside:
“The Book of Job and the Challenge of Scriptural Poetry”
One of the disadvantages of the King James Translation, which Latter-day Saints use as our official version of the Bible, is that it makes no distinction between poetry and prose. Every line is printed as straight prose, and every sentiment is elevated to the high linguistic register of poetry. But the Old Testament is made up of a mixture of prose and poetry, and of a blending of styles and registers, that readers are supposed to notice. Nowhere are these interpretive difficulties more evident than in the Book of Job, which alternates between prose and poetry—and between simplistic prose and elevated poetry—in ways that readers are supposed to notice. This presentation will explain the structure of Job and explore how understanding its shifts in style and register can help us make sense of one of the ancient world’s greatest works of literature.

Michael Austin received his Ph.D. in English at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1997 and taught English literature for many years. He has written or edited nine books, including Re-reading Job: Understanding the Ancient World’s Greatest Poem, which won the 2014 Association for Mormon Letters Award for Nonfiction. He currently lives in Wichita, Kansas, where he is a Provost, whatever that is.


  1. Mary Lythgoe Bradford says:

    wish MA would come here to DC–

  2. Molly Bennion says:

    No, Mary, wish you could come here instead. Having him in DC is second best.

  3. Aaron Brown says:

    If and when Molly runs out of seats, prospective attendees can come to another fireside with Michael on Sunday instead! 7 pm, at the Magnolia ward building in Seattle…

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